While the pool looked fantastic the rest of the backyard was still in really bad shape. We have tried and failed and tried again and failed again when it comes to landscaping. We have also learned landscaping is not our talent... NOT. AT. ALL. We decided that this time we would hire a landscaping company and just leave this project to the professionals. I kept telling the landscaper that we need hardy plants that don't need a lot of attention and have patience for their owners. :)
When our original layout, blueprint, (not sure what the exact name is) but the plan for the landscaping and the bid arrived, it was beautiful! It looked like it came right off HGTV and Backyard Crashers. However, it also had a budget that did not really (okay, at all) match what we wanted to spend. So, we made some (several) changes (cuts) and settled on what we felt would look nice and wouldn't put us in a state of budget shock. Unfortunately, the majority of our budget was spent having the yard graded and laying new sod. We kept the original plans and will probably add to the landscaping a little at a time.
Here are a few pictures of the our yard after the pool but before the landscaping. This is the point where I take a long exhale and remind myself that showing these pictures to the world is a form of therapy. We admitted we had a problem, made a plan, and followed through. :)
AND. NOW. THE AFTER!!!! TA-DAH!!!
Lucy was very excited to run, sniff, and well, do her doggy business on the new grass.
My kids were also excited to get in the backyard. Even my youngest (far right) who had the flu and a very high fever insisted on exploring.
I cannot wait for spring when everything starts blooming.
I should have taken a before picture of this area. It was the oddest dead space between the house and the pool. I love how the landscapers filled it in.
In the middle of the two palm trees is a bird of paradise plant. This was specifically requested by our kids. :) It was a running joke with the landscaper - cut the budget but make sure there is a bird of paradise somewhere in the backyard. :)
We have rosemary bushes on each side of the entrance to the fire pit. I am looking forward to using those when I cook.
We have had the fire pit for a few years. My husband has laid it twice but after a ton of rain this fall, it sank horribly on one side. The landscapers moved each and every rock, re-leveled the area and then laid everything back down.
Since it is "winter" (I use that term loosing for where we live), the grass is dormant. We are really looking forward to spring when the grass turns green and all the plants bloom (being we can keep everything alive that long).